Posts Tagged ‘Hot Pony’


By Whitney Weiss

Berlin-based dreamboat Vexkiddy has a record label (Royal Athlete), a party (Hot Pony), and a great collection of the best and bubbliest Italo, disco, freestyle, and funk, which makes him THE perfect guest for the vitamin-d soaked August edition of PATSY! We caught up with him mid-heatwave to talk about great songs by problematic Tories, formative clubbing experiences, and what Fleetwood Mac songs to woo him with. 

Hi Vexkiddy! We’re excited for you to come play at PATSY. You’ve been based in Berlin for a few years. What record makes you think of Berlin? 

Wow! Interesting question! I guess it depends which way you look at it. Records that make me think of Berlin in terms of culture would be things like Low by Bowie or records by Lou Reed and Iggy Pop along with people like Tangerine Dream and Cluster. But I guess if you wanted me to choose a song that reminded me of Berlin in a personal way, it would be the long version of Small Town Boy by Bronski Beat. Tony would always play it as the closing track at Hot Pony and it brings back fond memories for me.

Before moving to Berlin, you were in the UK. What was nightlife like there? What is one of the first songs you ever heard in a club? 

Before Berlin, I was a native of Bristol town in the southwest UK. Lovely place, if a bit masculine in its music tastes back then (not so much now, which is great!) But back then it was all bass music and agro drum and bass. I used to be a happy hardcore DJ, so for me it was always the happy bouncy stuff in clubs. One of the first records I heard in the club would have been Dead Dread – Dred Bass, a massive jungle hit being played in a club in Swindon :-)

I’ve heard you play a wonderful mix of disco, funk, boogie, proto-house, and even some dad rock on occasion. What would you say is the most surprising or unexpected record in your collection? 

I guess the balearic hit that is Josephine by Chris Rea. It’s so cheesy but I love playing it as the bassline is fantastic. The only downside is that Mr Rea is a Tory supporter which isn’t so good. I try to block that out when I’m singing along to his deep baritone vocals.

You DJ AND make music as Vexkiddy. What is a song you wish you had written? 

Hard one! Hmmmm, I’d love to have written Shadows from Nowhere by Blue Gas, it’s well beautiful. I guess in terms of the stuff that I make and play as a DJ, I would love to have been part of the production group that was Change. They wrote so many amazing disco bangers along with producing BB&Q Band, High Fashion and many others. It must have been an amazing time producing disco and boogie back in those days.

You’ve been on Red Light Radio a lot in Amsterdam with your buddy Tony. What is a song that you were very excited to play on the air?

Oh, that is a good one! The last Royal Athlete Records Special we did, I was super excited to play the new Sky Tony track that we have coming out next year now. It’s called Sport Beach and is just a beautiful summer hit! Maybe I sneak it in at on Saturday! :-) 

Speaking of Tony, you guys also do Hot Pony together. What is your favourite record to put on for a hands-in-the-air moment at the end of the night there?

For me it’s probably Conversation by Dayton. It’s a fucking stormer  :) I love it! I usually end up putting a few Dayton hits on in a row at that point.

What record is helping you to survive this summer’s ridiculous northern European heatwave? 

Ah man, this heat! Berlin is soooo hot right now! It’s like 36 degrees as I type this! UGHHGHGH! I’ve been listening to a lot of William Basinski’s Disintegration Loops. They’re beautifully calming and really help me focus on work in this mental heat.

If someone was making you a mix tape to woo you, what song could they put on it that would steal your heart immediately? 

What a great question! I guess anything by my all-time love, Fleetwood Mac. I guess Gypsy or Storms would have me by the heartstrings.

What is the one record that never leaves your bag or USB stick, so dancers can have an idea of what’s in store for them at the next PATSY?

I guess a track that I always play is Change’s Glow of Love. It’s a well-known track but I just love the piano riff and the lyrics sung by the wonderful Luther Vandross. It always get me super happy.

What song have you always wanted to hear someone else play out so you could dance to it?

Anything that has Leroy Burgess on it! I was lucky enough to see him recently with his full band and it was amazing. Would love to hear any of his jams played out on a loud sound system! So good! 

Catch Vexkiddy at Patsy this Friday 17 August from 9pm-3am at Dalston Superstore!


Hot Pony

The Les Poppeurs kids are notorious for their eclectic brand of big gay italo disco parties, and they seem to have found their kindred spirits in latest guests: Berlin’s Hot Pony! The party is run by Timmy and Anton, who have been lighting up Berlin’s Sameheads with their distinctive brand of camp for four years. We caught up with Timmy to chat favourite collaborators, Berlin hotspots and plans for Les Poppeurs!

Hi Timmy! We’re so excited to have you at Dalston Superstore this Friday! Can you tell us a bit about your party Hot Pony?

Hey Superstore! Yep, we’re also both looking forward to it! It’ll be our first time at Superstore! 😀 Hot Pony was born out of a love for eighties boogie and italo disco, both music that Antoni Maiovvi and me (Vexkiddy) have enjoyed consuming for a number of years now. At the time we didn’t think there was a space where people could dance and rediscover this music so we made one at our eternal home, Sameheads in Neukölln, Berlin.

You’ve been putting on the party for four years now, wow! What have been some of the highlights over the years?

Its been fun for sure! I think personal faves have been boogie funk magician Sven Atterton, along with Germany’s very own First Touch who’ve had releases on Omega Supreme over in the USA. I also loved when Whitney from Les Poppeurs came and played as well as all the local regulars like Don Chrelli, Debbie Upper, Dimitri SoEmotional, Zola and my personal mini loves Private Agenda.

Can you tell us a bit about your ‘Grew Up Listening’ mix series?

Grew Up Listening was a really off the cuff idea to do a radio interview show about what people ‘grew up listening’ to. We did it with the artists that where playing before hot pony, but now its grown into something else. In fact I need to arrange the one for November!

If you had to sum Hot Pony up in one artist or song, who/what would it be?

Wow.. That’s a tricky one! For me it would be a mixture of Coffee and Unlimited Touch with a dash of modern boogie funk from Brian Ellis, Sasac and Liquid Pegasus, however I always try and play Change – The Glow of Love when the time is right. Anton pretty much closes every night with Small Town Boy by Bronski Beat, because it’s a true heartbreaker and it’s damn hot… he loves that track!

If you were a brand of poppers, what would you be called?

I’ll let Anton answer this one! “My friend Andy from the band Ubre Blanca has a brand of poppers called ‘Bang’ tattooed on his arm because he fucking loves poppers so if I was a brand of poppers I’d be called Andy.”

You’re taking us on a date in Berlin – where are we going to eat, drink and dance?

So we’d start with some drinks at Cafe Futuro, the place is run by Franz Scala label owner and purveyor of fine Italian drinks. I’d most likely drink Aperol Spritzes and I’d suggest you do the same! We’d then head to Cocolo Ramen in X-Berg or maybe Pig & Tiger up in trendy Schiller Kiez before rolling down the hill visiting Sameheads for a bit of Hot Pony! 😀

If you had a time machine and could go dancing anywhere/when, where would you go?

Being a little young at the time and catching the end of the rave days, I’d probably say the late eighties / nineties illegal raves, along with the early Universe parties. I’d also love to have gone to the Paradise Garage and The Loft, must have been an amazing time both culturally and musically!

Can you give a hint of what you have in store for us this Saturday?

I’ll be playing a mixture of new modern boogie stuff from labels like Star Creature and Omega Supreme along with classic disco and eighties soul & boogie. Anton will most likely be playing bangers and heartbreakers! 

Catch Hot Pony at Les Poppeurs on Saturday 1 October from 9pm-3am at Dalston Superstore!

Debbie Upper

By Whitney Weiss

Debbie Upper (civilian name: Jared Abbott) was born in Michigan and scampered away to New York, where he leapt into nightlife and never looked backed. A former Razzmatazz resident, he traded Barcelona for Berlin and now delights dancers at an impressively diverse array of parties and throws ICKY, a delightfully sleazy Sunday party at Ficken3000. Ahead of his Dalston Superstore debut at Les Poppeurs, we chatted about Berlin nightlife, being inappropriate around famous people, and preferred brands of poppers.

Oh hello! Please introduce yourself/tell the world who DEBBIE UPPER is.

Hi! Debbie is one of Berlin’s more versatile DJs and can be spotted out playing all kinds of cute shit. Her speciality is more on the lost funk and disco and ’80s maxi-cunt vibe, but she definitely keeps up on the all latest rap/r&b and house and techno records. She also hosts the show Single Black Female on Berlin Community Radio.

You throw ICKY, a Sunday night party at the Berlin sexclub Ficken3000. What is the most scandalous thing you’ve witnessed from your not-particularly-secluded perch at the DJ booth?

I’ll never tell! What happens at Ficken, stays at Ficken.

What is the story behind your rather clever DJ name?  

It’s really just a joke that went too far. When I worked for the late, great, and dearly missed Brian Tennessee Claflin at PORK, we’d make up jokey new DJ names all the time. That one just kind of stuck around.

Please take us out for a glorious night of debauchery in Berlin. Where are we having dinner and drinks? What clubs/parties will we visit? What time will we eventually stagger home?  

Dinner would most likely be a shitty curry for 5 euros. I’d definitely take you to my friend Mauro’s sexy ass party BeiTola. And I also love Members, Cocktail D’Amore and Panty Splatters. I’m an old lady, so I am usually home by 7am. I can’t really do the “three days with no sleep” thing anymore.

You did a super-cute show of music you grew up listening to for Hot Pony and many of the songs were from ’80s and ’90s movie soundtracks. So our very important question: what is your favorite erotic thriller? 

Poison Ivy with Drew Barrymore and Sara Gilbert. So much atmosphere! And Love Crimes with Sean Young. It has some fucked up sexual politics, but I love it. Oooh, and Color of Night with Bruce Willis, but that’s really more of a comedy.

I was surprised to learn that you are pro Gwyneth Paltrow. Please explain your stance on this very pressing matter.

She’s just trying to impart some wealthy white woman wisdom and we should all be open to it. And her mother is Blythe fucking Danner. Show some respect.  

You also sometimes throw a karaoke party called Sisters With Voices. In your expert opinion, who is the most underrated female songstress of all time and why?

Lindsay Lohan!!

Now that it is spring, what are the warm-weather jams you cannot stop listening to? 

I’ve been listening to Monie Love a lot lately. And Janet’s first album, the one before Control.  And Millie Jackson’s Caught Up. Also, a lot of Patrice Rushen, but that’s not really a seasonal thing. 

As you are a wonderfully eclectic DJ, what can the dance floor at the next Les Poppeurs expect? Do you have surprises in store? Will you divulge one?

Aw, thanks. I’ll give you a hint: it’s in the Sylvester Stallone movie Cobra.

Also, what is your preferred brand of poppers?

I’m a BlueBoy 4ever <3

Since you were in NY for a fruitful era for clubbing, you must have many excellent stories. Please share a particularly juicy one. 

I caught the tail-end of Roxy, Tunnel, Limelight, etc, but they were all pretty tame by 1999. I’d have to say Madonna “DJing” my friend’s tiny 100-person party was the most memorable evening. A few of my fun stories involve being inappropriate around famous people, like drunkenly telling Susan Sarandon that White Palace is her best movie.

And now, the classic Superstore question: if you had a time machine to travel to any dance floor ever, past present or future, which would you choose and why? 

It’d have to make a few stops. I guess something like CLUB USA or Limelight in like 1994, then the clubs in Basic Instinct/Scarface for a little while, then some sort of Paradise Garage situation, and then ending it all with a shady quaaluudey morning music moment at The Saint. 

Join Debbie Upper this Friday 24th April for Les Poppeurs at Dalston Superstore from 9m – 4am.

Photo credit: Gerard Estadella